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Rumex hypogaeus T.M.Schust. & Reveal

Taxon 64:1204 (2015)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Carnarvon, Coolgardie, Esperance Plains, Gascoyne, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Little Sandy Desert, Mallee, Murchison, Nullarbor, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren, Yalgoo.
IBRA Subregions
Augustus, Cape Range, Eastern Goldfield, Eastern Murchison, Edel, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Katanning, Lesueur Sandplain, Merredin, Northern Jarrah Forest, Nullarbor Plain, Perth, Recherche, Rudall, Southern Jarrah Forest, Tallering, Warren, Western Mallee, Western Murchison, Wooramel.
IMCRA Regions
Leeuwin-Naturaliste, Shark Bay.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Augusta Margaret River, Busselton, Carnarvon, Chapman Valley, Chittering, Claremont, Coolgardie, Corrigin, Cottesloe, Cue, Cunderdin, Dalwallinu, Dandaragan, Dowerin, Dundas, East Pilbara, Esperance, Exmouth, Gnowangerup, Greater Geraldton, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Koorda, Kulin, Laverton, Leonora, Manjimup, Menzies, Merredin, Mingenew, Moora, Murray, Northampton, Perenjori, Perth, Quairading, Ravensthorpe, Rockingham, Sandstone, Shark Bay, Swan, Upper Gascoyne, Victoria Plains, Wanneroo, Westonia, Wongan-Ballidu, Yalgoo, York.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Emex australis.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Annual. Reproduction. Seed germination.. Dispersal. Seed dispersal by wind, water, humans and animals.. Seedbank persistence. 4+ years.

Notes. Doublegee is a low-growing annual herb that grows up to 40 cm high, with stems up to 80 cm long, mostly lying on or close to the ground. Its leaves are triangle to ovate, 3 to 12 cm long, 2 to 10 cm wide, glabrous, undulate margins; lower leaves on long stalks, others on stalks about the same length or shorter than the leaf blades, each leaf stalk surrounded by a membranous sheath at the base. The male flowers are in small stalked clusters, the female flowers are almost sessile in the leaf axils. When the fruits ripen, the colour will change from green to brown, hard and woody, 7 to 11 mm long, triangular in longitudinal cross-section. Its seed is brown, roughly triangular, 3 to 4 mm long, smooth, glossy, 1 in each fruit. The root is deep fleshy taproot..

Additional information. Origin. Native to southern Africa.. History of use/introduction. The introduction and spread of Doublegee in Australia appears to have started in 1830 in Western Australia. It was probably brought in from Africa for use as a vegetable or as a contaminant of stock feed, or attached to clothing, shoes, or equipment.. Similar exotic species. Emex spinosa.

Suggested method of management and control. Small infestations and isolated plants of Doublegee can be grubbed out. If the plants are seeding, then they should be completely destroyed by burning them. A control program must aim at killing all plants shortly after emergence and needs to be continued for several years. 'Prickle rollers' have been developed to gather and remove surface Doublegee fruit from drying greens in vineyards. Cultivation kills seedlings, and can be effective when combined with chemical control. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Germination O O Y Y Y Y Y Y O O O O any time after rain
Optimum Treatment     Y Y Y Y Y Y          
Flowering               Y Y Y Y Y  
Manual Removal         Y Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Fruiting O O O O O O O O Y Y Y O Spiny seed
Herbicide Treatment         Y Y Y Y         Before seed set
Active Growth         Y Y Y Y Y Y      

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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